Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Game of Death

I view the Raider fan experience partly through the lens of goals being met and the corresponding level of satisfaction from the team achieving these goals.

Think of it as "The Game of Death". Upon entering the house (or ground level) you fight your way to the top floor of the building with the ultimate goal to kick Kareem Abdul Jabbar's butt. As you advance each floor, the goal becomes increasingly more diffiuclt to achieve.

What has been troubling and disappointing these past 7 seasons is that we are not even taking baby steps towards reaching these goals/levels of satisfaction. We are still at the ground level.

Goal 1: Build a competitive team. I would argue that a competitive team is 8-8 or better.

Goal 2: Build a legitimate playoff contender. If you are still in the hunt for a playoff berth in the month of December, you have met this criteria.

Goal 3: Earn a playoff berth.

Goal 4: Advance in the playoffs.

Goal 5: Go to the Super Bowl

Goal 6: Win the Super Bowl

If you look at the past Raider teams who have met goals 3-6, there are a few common denominators;

-> Good to above average QB
-> Good to above average HC
-> A GM on board working in partnership with Davis

How are we doing on the above 3 fronts? Poorly. Currently we have a QB who is more committed to visiting his jeweler than the gym. Cable is having a difficult time establishing himself worthy of a leadership position let alone hold on to his job. The GM role has been vacant since Bruce Allen departed and is being mismanaged by our 80 year old owner.

There is a HUGE difference between REAL hope and FAKE optimism. When you have a solid QB, HC, GM, and Owner working in partnership and stability, then you've got a franchise on the cusp of greatness.

I like to look at it as a building a sturdy, 4 legged table. The 4 legs represent leadership; QB, HC, GM, Owner. The table itself represents the franchise itself. The table top is built to support and showcase the SB trophy.

The owner needs to pick the GM and give the GM and HC the necessary authority and trust to do their jobs. The GM needs to identify his HC to execute the game plan and maximize the personnel. The HC needs to identify his QB to build a championship caliber team. The QB needs to lead his team on the field, in the huddle, on the practice field, and in the locker room.